Six Nations Touchlines: English title winners eye Grand Slam bonus
England's players will cash in on their first Six Nations title win since 2011 - especially if they go on to complete their first Grand Slam since 2003.
The squad are already €120,000 richer thanks to the title win but will bank a healthy bonus of €32,000 each for a Slam.
Each player receives €20,000 per game and the deal is worth almost a half-a-million euro for winning the title, rising to €750,000 for what many thought would be an improbable Grand Slam.
Dylan Hartley, who has played in every match, could push his final earnings up to around €150,000.
Parisse rounds on Italian critics
SERGIO Parisse seems willing to stick around until the 2019 World Cup - even if the man who persuaded him, Conor O'Shea, does not take up the role as his country's head coach, as revealed in some reports from the Italian press.
Italy's record now reads P84 W12 D1 L71 since their 2000 ascension into the "greatest championship in the world". But Parisse's wounded retort when asked about relegation, aired in these pages last week, shows the fire still rages.
"When you see what we have done in the past, even against Ireland two years ago, I think Italy really deserve to play in this tournament."
Provinces green with envy at West's fabulous five
CONNACHT deservedly earned praise for their historic achievement when they provided a third of the finishing XV who completed the convincing rout against Italy.
However, some wags in the heaving Dublin streets afterwards - perhaps emanating from one or more of their rival provinces - couldn't help but add their own caveats.
Were not Finlay Bealham, Nathan White and Kieran Marmion born outside this country, they asked, while Ultan Dillane is also from another country (to be precise, added our Ulster friend, Kerry!).
As for Leinster-bound Robbie Henshaw? "He's always been a Leinster man," opined the Leinster man. Ah lads, credit where credit is due to Pat Lam and his wonderfully expansive western team!
Quote of the day
"To be honest, they're just Irish players to me." - Joe Schmidt on Connacht's men in green. Nail on head. (See above).
Number of the day
42 Of Sean Cronin's 50 caps, 42 have come from the bench.